Chicago Cubs: Will they open the season with three catchers?


As the regular season quickly approaches, the Chicago Cubs continue to ponder tough decisions as they look to fill out their Opening Day roster. With a number of those decisions left to be made, one of the more complex situations heading into the season comes at the catcher position, where Miguel Montero, David Ross and Wellington Castillo are vying for playing time once the games start for real.

Cubs’ Manager Joe Maddon has recently expressed his willingness to start the season with three catchers on the roster, and if you take a deeper look, it actually makes sense.

With David Ross likely to catch most–if not all of Jon Lester‘s starts–he would likely benefit from solely being Lester’s personal catcher and nothing more. At the age of 38, I’m pretty sure he’d appreciate the rest by starting every fifth day. More importantly, it would likely increase his productivity both at the plate and behind it.

Montero, 31, was brought over from the Arizona Diamondbacks because of his left-handed bat and his pitch-framing ability. His .243 average and 13 home runs in 2014 weren’t great, but he’ll definitely add some occasional pop that the Cubs seem to be missing from the left side. While it’s clear that he should get the majority of the playing time throughout the season, a platoon with Castillo is an idea worthy of consideration.

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The 27-year-old Castillo seemed to be the odd man out early on, but now it seems as though he’ll find a way to remain on the team. Last season, he hit just a tad lower than Montero with a .237 average, and he matched him in power with 13 bombs as well. Castillo had a respectable year behind the plate and, as the younger of the two, he would be more than capable of handling the left-handers in the starting rotation and in turn would allow more rest time for Montero.

It is well-known that the catcher position is one of the more demanding positions on the baseball diamond. With two of aforementioned players already in their thirties, sharing playing time would be a huge help and could also be a big advantage for the Cubs over the course of a 162-game season. If the team does decide to go this route, look for their backstops to be a strength for them all season long.

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